Table Saw Woodworking Projects: Building Trivets

Table saw woodworking can be a rewarding and challenging hobby. It's also useful to know how to make different projects using a table saw. Trivets can be easily built following a few simple steps. 


Anytime you are working with a saw you will want to be sure you are taking the proper safety precautions. Always wear goggles and hearing protection. Gloves are not recommended when you are using a saw. Gloves can cause a decrease in the sensation, and you need this heightened awareness if you intend on keeping your fingers. Always wear clothing that is not loose in nature, and keep your hair tied back so there is no chance of it being pulled in to the saw.

Safety extends to the material you use as well. Using lumber that is too thick can cause stress on the saw and end up causing injury. Be sure your materials are correct.

Using a Dado

All of the cuts are made with a dado saw, so you need to make sure that you protect your hands well in case something was to happen. You will want to make the blade at least 1/6 inch higher than the wood, by using a piece of scrap wood. This allows the cuts to run through smoother, and have a better outcome. You will want to make the waffle cut next, so you should be sure to test your saw before making the cuts. Stabilize the blade, and clean off the work station.

Making the Cuts

You will then proceed to make the cuts, making sure to make precise cuts so the trivet comes out the way it should. You will want to make the first cut by turning the piece of wood to 180 degrees and turn the piece over so the first cut is on the top and 90 degrees angled to the blade. Make the same two cuts to make your first groove on the side. This is the only step where you will have more than one pass for each groove. Make sure you have the bottom of the piece run parallel to the blade. Turn the piece 180 degrees again, and start with the second cut. Make the second cuts all the way around. Make the cut process on both sides. You should end up with three grooves on either side of the center groove, as well as a solid lip on the outside.

Sand It Down

Use a 150-grit piece of sand paper to sand the grooves, fold the piece several times over. You may have splintering; you can pop them out with a piece of a small diameter dowel. Sand all of the surfaces smooth. Round the upper edges making the lip appear narrower and makes the trivet look finished and smooth. You will need the lip to provide extra strength while using the trivet.